Pearce fails to hang on to Wilshere
Published : 09 Oct 2010 09:30:56
Stuart Pearce maintains England Under-21s have the strength in depth to get the result needed away to Romania next week which would see the Young Lions qualify for the 2011 European Championships.
Pearce tried to convince Fabio Capello to allow Arsenal's Jack Wilshere to remain with his squad for their trip to Botosani, where the Under-21s will defend a hard-earned 2-1 lead from Friday night's first leg, which was watched in person by the England boss. However, the 18-year-old will instead now link up with the senior squad for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro on Tuesday night.
Pearce said: "Part of me is pleased that Jack is going, as it shows to the rest of the squad the pathway which is there for the players, and part of me would have liked to have him in Romania. However, we feel as if we have quality in the squad and whoever plays will do themselves proud on Tuesday."
He added: "I also hope Jack gets a game against Montenegro."
The England Under-21 coach continued: "The one thing which really pleased me was Jack would have been happy to get on the plane and come to Romania with us.
"Part of him feels he is being taken away from the 21s, in a nice way, but his attitude is fantastic, he is an outstanding player. With his form for club and country, he deserves to be with the senior and good luck to him.
"Jack is an outstanding player and we have to nurture him for club and country. I honestly feel experiences like this will improve him as a player."
Pearce had warned Romania would be no pushovers, having won their group in impressive fashion, and so it proved, with second-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Chris Smalling giving England a slender lead.
The visitors were not just content to sit back as Dinamo Bucharest youngster Marius Alexe, a reported target for Chelsea, looked lively in attack while skipper Gabriel Torje struck the post a minute before the interval before an unfortunate deflection off Ryan Bertrand handed Romania an away goal.
"We knew exactly what they were going to offer, and it was a really tight game," Pearce said. "It is totally in the balance for Tuesday night, but we are going to go to Romania and try to win another game."